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Extending Education For All: Now + Beyond the Pandemic

COVID-19 Resources and Education

June 8, 2020

There is no doubt that the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has changed way we live, learn, work and play. However, the crisis has provided opportunities for Iowa’s businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions and community organizations large and small to adapt, adjust and respond in a way that demonstrates the resiliency of our state and community. At Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach, Polk County, we have done the same.

Online Resources + Educational Opportunities

In response to the pandemic, Polk County Extension, along with our ISU Extension and Outreach campus partners, have compiled a variety of research-based online resources and education opportunities to support Iowans — not only now during the pandemic, but arming them with information that will be applicable and available long after this is over and into recovery.

This is not an exhaustive list. The resources we offer are for people of any age, stage, ability or interest. On our streamlined online resources page, area residents can find pertinent and trustworthy information like:

  • Resources for youth curated by local and state 4-H professionals to help kids continue learning from home throughout the year.
  • Broad health information that covers all areas of a person’s well-being whether it be financial, mental, emotional or physical.
  • Access to nutrition programs to keep individuals and families healthy.
  • Links to blogs and resources for businesses, local governments, community partners and agriculture and farm professionals.
  • Easily accessible articles to enhance yards and gardens.
  • Critical hotlines and phone numbers where Iowans can reach out to an ISU expert directly. This includes:
    • Iowa Concern (800) 447-1985 — A confidential, free resource answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, aimed to support Iowans with legal, financial, stress and crisis/disaster concerns.
  • Plus other links to virtual programs and information.

The Polk County Extension office has served Iowans for over 100 years by offering locally relevant and research-based educational programs for people of all ages. As we move forward, beyond the pandemic, the way we deliver programs will be modified, but our commitment to live out our mission and build a strong Iowa remains the same. Reach out to us when you need information to help you take care of your family, manage stress or support your community, business or farm.

For over 100 years, ISU Extension and Outreach, Polk County has served its residents by connecting them to research and resources developed by Iowa State University. Knowledge and programs offered through the Polk County Extension office have been specifically tailored to represent, enhance and meet the needs of local residents and community. For 2020 Polk County Extension will focus on K-12 youth outreach; health, well-being, and nutrition; and agriculture and natural resources. ISU Extension and Outreach, Polk County is part of a 99-county campus serving all Iowans to create a strong Iowa.

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

Paul Gibbins

Paul Gibbins is regional director of ISU Extension and Outreach, providing leadership and educational opportunities in 4-H youth development, family life, nutrition, ag and natural resources and community/economic development. Previously, Gibbins was Polk County Extension executive director, regional STEM manager for Governor's STEM Advisory Council and Ankeny High School educator.